Politics

Netaji’s Bofors Confession: Why Should Mulayam NOT Be Tried For Obstruction of Justice?

Mulayam Singh Yadav (Sanjay Kanojia/AFP/Getty Images)
Snapshot
  • If Mulayam Singh said that politicians shouldn’t be tried in court, then surely we can assume that as Defence Minister he got to know that some politicians were indeed involved in the Bofors scam.

    Who were these leaders? And did Mulayam make their files disappear on their request or did he decide to do it by himself?

“There shouldn’t be legal cases against political leaders. If politicians are jailed then how will politics go on? When I was the Defence Minister, I made the Bofors files disappear”

This shocking statement, as reported here in Dainik Bhaskar was uttered by former Defence Minister, former UP CM, and president of the Samajwadi Party, Mulayam Singh Yadav. Mulayam Singh made these comments during his speech at the Ram Manohar Lohia National Law University’s Founding Day celebrations in Lucknow, on 17 August.

The first question that should be asked here is—why should Mulayam Singh Yadav not be tried for obstruction of justice?

Secondly, if he said that politicians shouldn’t be tried in court, then surely we can assume that as Defence Minister he got to know that some politicians were indeed involved in the Bofors scam. Who were these leaders? And did Mulayam make their files disappear on their request or did he decide to do it by himself?

Far more importantly, how did he decide that these leaders shouldn’t face trial. The right to convict or acquit a person in India, or to call a person to trial, rests with the judiciary. Not with ministers.

Lastly, Mulayam’s behaviour, accompanied by his casual description of the fiasco is symbolic of the cynical approach towards politics that infects some voters and leaders alike.

Reader may be reminded that the Bofors scam broke in1987 and had rocked the then Rajiv Gandhi government. The allegation was that people within the Indian establishment had taken bribes in the process of purchasing 400 Bofors Howitzer guns. ‘Bofors’ was for many, the main agenda of the general elections of 1989.

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